Announcing Tonido Relay Service
After Tonido’s release, we have been working based on user feedback to fix the major pain points faced by our current and future users. One of the significant issues faced by many is setting up remote access to their Tonido software outside their network.
This problem is exacerbated by several issues.
- UPnP support by most routers is really poor.
- Port forwarding settings for routers can be convoluted and difficult to understand.
- Port forwarding simply doesn’t work on some routers
- Port forwarding simply doesn’t work for DHCP clients when IP changes
- Port forwarding is not possible under some conditions because there are no user-controllable routers available in some networks. (Businesses, Campuses, Free Internet Wifi Spots).
There really is no robust solution to this problem that will work in all those above cases.
The only real solution is to relay Tonido data via a server that acts as an intermediary between the remote client and the local Tonido instance.
That is exactly what the Tonido Relay service does.
So for users who are unable to setup remote access through their firewall, Tonido Relay service is a viable alternative.
The overall simplified architecture looks like below.
There are some salient points about this service:
- The relay service is purely a data streaming service, no data of any sort is stored or monitored. It is all a bunch of bytes.
- Strong encryption: The connection between Tonido and the relay service is encrypted via SSL so it is resilient against snooping/hacking.
- HTTPS SSL support will be available as well, thereby making the complete connection impregnable.
- Relay service is purely optional (and disabled by default), everything else still works the same as always.
Tonido has always stood for the ability to be independent and self sufficient, so we agree that this service goes in the opposite direction. But in some cases, practical benefits due to this service outweigh some of the cons.
It all comes down to the choices available to a user. We believe that Tonido still offers users clear choices on how they want to access their data. If they can setup portforwarding because they have great control over their network they can do that. If they can’t, they still can use Tonido using the relay.
Relay Service will become available as a beta service in the upcoming release and on all supported platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OSX and the TonidoPlug.
It will be free to use in the beta period.